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How long have you been with Bond Williams?

I came to Bond Williams 12 years. Initially as a temporary’s consultant to run and grow the temporary’s desk then progressed to Team Leader for both the temporary and permanent division, then Associate Director and now Director of the commercial division.

You have been in Recruitment now for 18 years, why have you stayed in it for so long?

I love the pace and variety of the role; no two days are ever the same and you can’t ever become complacent. I have built relationships with so many people over the years and watched their careers progress.

I have also been offered a number of opportunities over the past 12 years to progress my career with Bond Williams which has kept me on my toes.

What do you do to relax after a busy day in recruitment?

To relax I drink wine in huge amounts!!

Seriously though, I have a close family that I love spending time with as well as friends and watching documentaries.

What do you recruit for in your area?

In the HR & Commercial division we cover a breath of roles. Firstly in HR we recruit for roles ranging from HR Administrators to HR Officers, L&D professionals, HR Managers through to HR Directors across a range of industries and companies, from small independents, SMEs through to Blue chip clients.

The Commercial division can range from reception cover, customer service to sales, account management, marketing, ecommerce.

How has the market been for your division over the past year?

We have seen a huge number of permanent roles from entry level posts through to executive roles added to which candidates have been in shorter supply, we have worked hard to be proactive and attract those candidates. We have also looked for alternative solutions and offerings for clients when skills are in short supply to help solve their needs. We have also had lots of new clients approach us for one reason or another and have continued to service our long standing clients of which there are many.

What trends do you see developing in your marketplace?

Hybrid and remote working options will continue to trend, this is now a requirement for many looking to move roles. However some clients are not able to offer this due to business needs or are unwilling to flex which creates more of a challenge when recruiting as competitors outside of the area are offering hybrid or even remote working in which case the pool of candidates you have access to becomes less if you aren’t able to be flexible. If you are paying very good rates, you will still attract candidates but there will need to be a motivator to be in the office fulltime. Having said that there are still candidates out there that want to be in the office fulltime but there are just fewer now.

I believe that companies may have to look more at skills and experience and do away with specific qualifications and min years exp. Candidates of the younger generation tend to have more of a portfolio of experience and are less inclined to stay in roles as long these days.

What roles are you finding are in demand at the moment?

Sales, Digital Marketing & E-Commerce are very much in demand at the moment.

What are the biggest issues for candidates in your marketplace? 

There is so much opportunity being offered to candidates now on a nationwide level with much higher salaries being offered outside of the area. However that doesn’t mean they will necessarily be offered those roles, some candidates expect working from home as a minimum requirement which isn’t realistic for some roles and they may need to take a pay cut to do that if it is. On the reverse, other candidates are willing to sacrifice benefits and flexible working for a much higher salary backfilling those roles where office based candidates on good salaries are now not wanting to go into the office fulltime but were still expecting to be paid the same. Candidates’ expectations have risen and they will need to be realistic to cope with the flexibility they want as well as the employers playing their part as well.

What are the biggest issues for clients in your marketplace?

Clients need to become more flexible and offer different and varied benefits to attract candidates. Flexibility has become a prerequisite for many now that people have enjoyed the flexibility of working through Covid and they have shaped their lives around that. Candidates now have so much choice with regards to companies, location and salaries offered, clients will need to flex up with pay now becoming a major player, with the cost of living going up, less restrictions on remote working locations and candidate shortages. Companies are paying for the right people. If they have open vacancies, they are losing money!

What advice would you give to candidates?

Keep the personal touch when applying for roles send a covering letter for that specific role or call the recruiter as opposed to relying purely on online applications.

Read the job descriptions you are applying for and amend CV or add words to align with the role (only if you have the skills) and show some personality.

Be honest and courteous if the role isn’t for you tell the recruiter don’t ghost them, there may be future roles that are right for you, you want them to consider you. If you have gone AWOL or let them down before they are unlikely to give you another chance. Send a follow up thankyou email after interviews.

What advice would you give to clients?

Make sure that the candidate’s journey from interview to onboarding is slick and quick whilst maintaining the personal touch. Keep communication consistent so everyone involved knows what is happening, people will only chase you adding further work to your schedule. A quick update doesn’t take a minute.

Look at your recruitment process, is it still fit for purpose? Can improvements be made to the process, timings, forms etc

Make sure the first people or robot screening the applications knows exactly what they are looking for and can also recognise additional skills and experience that could fit the role.

Spend more time training candidates especially if you can’t find the exact skills you are looking for.

Get a good social media presence and branding is key, what makes you stand out from the crowd, why should someone work for you? Portray that positive company culture that supports a work life balance if you do, your competitors might not.

What do you like most about working at Bond Williams?

Working with a supportive forward thinking company that recognise & appreciates that people are their greatest asset. Proud of the reputation we have locally.

What do you most like about working in recruitment?

Excitement of the competition and the thrill of the chase. Working in a varied fast paced role keeps me on my toes as well as meeting people from all walks of lives. Telling someone they have been offered a job never gets boring. Along with knowing the more you put in the more you get out 👌

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